BREEAM, developed by Great Britain’s Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 1990, is the oldest certification system for sustainability in construction and has been comprehensively amended in 2008. Today, it contains the following 10 assessment categories:

  • Energy

  • Health and well-being

  • Innovation

  • Land use and ecology

  • Materials

  • Governance

  • Pollution

  • Transport

  • Waste

  • Water

The building’s entire life cycle is considered.

Each category demands a minimum score. The weighted sum of credits from all categories leads to an overall assessment. Certificates are issued with the following grades:

  • Pass

  • Good

  • Very Good

  • Excellent


BREEAM ® is probably the most used certification system world-wide. According to its website, a total of 2.266.900 buildings world-wide are currently registered for BREEAM assessment. More than 563.000 are certified in 76 countries (Dec. 2017). In Europe, the following countries have certification societies executing BREEAM certifications:

  • Netherlands

  • Spain

  • Norway

  • Sweden

  • Germany

  • Austria